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Mount Baker Redevelopment Partners Announced

Over 400 new housing units to be built near high-capacity transit, co-located with innovative early learning hub 

The City of Seattle’s Office of Housing (OH) is pleased to announce the selection of El Centro de la Raza and Mercy Housing Northwest as the development team for affordable housing at City-owned properties at the Mount Baker Redevelopment Sites. This selection and award mark a substantial step forward in addressing housing affordability and promoting community-centered development in the Mount Baker neighborhood.

This redevelopment was made possible through a strategic property transfer from the University of Washington (UW) to the City of Seattle in June 2020. This transfer, which includes the former UW Laundry site, aims to create affordable housing, childcare, and an early learning research facility.

With a $5 million investment from the City’s 2023-2024 budget and funding from other partners, the UW College of Education will establish the Rainier Valley Early Learning Campus (RVELC) on-site to provide educational opportunities and serve as a hub for innovative teaching practices and early childhood development research. The facility will serve 160 students and families each year with high-quality childcare and provide workforce training for early learning educators.

On February 16, 2024, OH published a Request for Proposals for three City-owned properties for development of a mix of rental and for-sale affordable homes. The selected proposal from El Centro de la Raza and Mercy Housing will bring 431 new homes to the Mount Baker neighborhood, providing much needed housing options for a diverse range of residents. The development sites are located at:

  • 2901 27th Ave S
  • 2700 S Winthrop St
  • 26th Ave S and S Forest St

With 30% of the homes reserved for families earning at or below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and a total of 60% family-sized homes, the project prioritizes affordable family living, cultural diversity, and community safety. This development furthers the City’s One Seattle strategy to create inclusive and sustainable communities, especially in neighborhoods with access to high-capacity transit and vulnerable to displacement.

OH will release the property to El Centro de la Raza and Mercy Housing Northwest and provide funding from primary OH fund sources (such as the Seattle Housing Levy, JumpStart/Payroll Expense Tax, and Mandatory Housing Affordability) to redevelop the first phase of the project. This project is a major component of a larger strategy to provide more equitable development and community-focused housing throughout the city of Seattle by facilitating transfers of City-owned and publicly-owned land to non-profit housing providers to create more affordable homes throughout the city.

What People Are Saying

Mayor Bruce Harrell

I’m thrilled that the Mount Baker Redevelopment is moving forward and making real our vision of a community-centered development that increases access to opportunity. With convenient connections to transit, this visionary project will give more families a pathway to stability, empower the next generation of great educators in our city, and provide our littlest learners with the supportive environment they need to grow and thrive. This partnership between the City, UW, El Centro de la Raza, and Mercy Housing exemplifies our One Seattle values of collaboration and innovation and will help foster a vibrant, inclusive community in our diverse Mt. Baker neighborhood.

Councilmember Tammy Morales

A good neighborhood is not just a place to live, but a place to thrive. After years of discussing the potential of the Mount Baker site, I’m so excited to see that there will be a partnership between El Centro de la Raza, Mercy Housing, UW, and the City of Seattle to address some of the most pressing needs for families across the South end: affordable housing & commercial spaces, childcare, and community spaces. This redevelopment project in the heart of Mount Baker will make the neighborhood a more vibrant and livable place for all.

Estela Ortega, Executive Director, El Centro de la Raza

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Office of Housing for their confidence in our team and for bestowing on us the responsibility and vital task of shaping the Mount Baker development. By centering racial equity and actively seeking community input for residents to thrive, connect, and build meaningful lives, we pledge to create housing that uplifts families and nurtures community, and build what Dr. King eloquently referred to as the Beloved Community.

Joe Thompson, President, Mercy Housing Northwest

Mercy Housing Northwest is excited to partner with El Centro de la Raza, the City of Seattle, and University of Washington to create a new affordable, transit oriented community focused on serving families and children in the heart of the Mount Baker neighborhood. Mercy Housing Northwest calls the Rainier Valley home and we are truly grateful for the opportunity to create homes for others, alongside family-focused programming in an inclusive community where families can thrive.

Mia Tuan, Dean, UW College of Education

We are excited to partner with the Rainier Valley community, and the City of Seattle to bring to life the Rainier Valley Early Learning Campus (RVELC), a dream long in the making. Leveraging the UW’s research expertise, this hub of early learning excellence embedded within the Rainier Valley community will be a place of gathering, learning and commitment to uplifting the early learning profession and will serve as a national model for authentic community and university partnership.

Visit our website to learn more about the Mount Baker Redevelopment Sites.